This week’s Bang the Champ lacks its gay weekly introduction. Instead, you get solely game analysis. Well, not solely game analysis. This week we’ll be ranking the games according to interest level. They run 1-14. Going along with that, we’ll rank Halloween candy 1-14 on a scale of how kids would view the goodies. As someone who has the maturity of the average six year old, I’m perfectly qualified to tell you how kids will react to your Halloween candy selection. I suggest you follow this list unless you want your house to get egged by some unappreciative assholes.
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups: Pittsburgh (+1.5) over WASHINGTON
Reese’s remains the king of Halloween candy, and one doesn’t fuck with the champ. Resse’s chocolatey, peanut-buttery excellence is second to none. Next to a conversion van with balloons, puppies, and you in a clown outfit, giving out Reese’s assures your place as a desired trick or treat house.
Similarly, Pittsburgh-Washington is, far and away, this week’s best game. I like Pittsburgh here, primarily because I’m not convinced Washington has the pass rush to disrupt Roethlisberger in the way the Giants did. As well as Jason Campell and Zorn’s offense have performed, Pittsburgh’s defense should be able to limit them. Washington hasn’t played a defense like Pittsburgh’s since Week 1, when they struggled against New York. Expect a tight game that turns on a field goal.
Butterfinger: New York Jets (+5.5) over BUFFALO
Because butterfingers are my favorite Halloween candy, and this is my favorite game - solely because it involves my favorite team in a crucial divisional matchup. Buffalo is a very tough home team, and after last week’s loss in Miami I expect Buffalo to come out prepared and not turn the ball over four goddamn times. But, after last week’s loss, I once again have doubts about the Bills’ ability to stop the pass. Notwithstanding Favre’s ability to keep both teams in the game, Buffalo’s suspect pass defense should allow the Jets to keep this game close, if not pull off an outright upset.
AJR: New York Jets
Twix: INDIANAPOLIS (-5.5) over New England
Like this game, Twix used to be more enjoyable. But after overindulging on them as a youngster, Twix has lost some of its appeal. I’m more of a Reese’s/Butterfinger type of guy now. Similarly, this game used to be enticing, but because of each team’s struggles, and Brady’s absence, this game has lost some of its appeal.
New England has a gaudy record, but that’s because they haven’t played anyone. The last time they went on the road to a semi-decent San Diego team, they were special guests in Shawne Merriman’s rape wagon. It won’t be a shock to see Peyton desecrate Deltha O’Neal in the same way Marmalard did. Despite losing Marlin Jackson for the season, the Colts get a boost from the expected return of Joseph Addai and Bob Sanders. Indianapolis should win handily and keep their wild card hopes alive.
Kit Kat: NEW YORK GIANTS (-8.5) over Dallas
Although they’re never the best, Kit Kat’s are always good Halloween candy. The chocolate and crisp cracker/wafer thing is cool. Chocolate is always better when it’s cruncy. You’re going to have a good experience with Kit Kats, but your candy experience could be just a bit better. Sort of like how you’ll have a good football experience with this game, but it could be better with Pittsburgh-Washington.
I don’t have a ton of faith in Brad Johnson on the road, particularly with the Giants’ fierce pass rush. He’s not elusive enough to evade any rush, and with Johnson lacking ability to stretch the field the Giants can keep enough men in the box to limit the Cowboys’ running attack. On offense, the G-Men should put up enough points against this struggling Dallas defense to cover. Plaxico and Kevin Boss could have big days.
Snickers: TENNESSEE (-5.5) over Green Bay
Snickers are highly overlooked, but still quality. Pairing chocolate, caramel, and peanuts always makes for a fun eating experience. Just like pairing a dynamic defense in Tennesee with a dynamic offense in Green Bay makes for a fun football watching experience.
In this case, I’m taking the home team. Although I’m hesitant because of Green Bay’s ability to jump out to a quick lead and make Tennessee play catch up – something they can’t do well – I don’t think that happens here. Tennessee’s defense is good enough to shut down Green Bay’s passing attack for 60 minutes. Additionally, Green Bay has one of the worst run defenses in the NFL. Chris Johnson and company should have a field day on the ground.
On another note: For Halloween, if anyone dresses as Vince Young and carries around a gun – real or fake – and a bucket of fried chicken, please send me a picture. You’ll get a Free Icy-Hot Sensations T-shirt, a $1.95 value! Another option for you is an Isaiah Thomas jersey and an empty bottle of pills. If you have a small fuck trophy/niece/sex slave, dress her up as Isaiah’s daughter and have her carry the pills. Again, free shirt. Both are sure to be big hits with the ladies.
(In case you're wondering, I'm going as the guys from the my new haircut video, primarily because that's what I wear/how I act on a daily basis.)
AJR: Green Bay
Nestle Crunch: Baltimore (+1.5) over CLEVELAND
Crunch Bars are extremely underrated. Rice cake type shit covered in chocolate? Fuck and yes. Remember when Shaq endorsed Crunch bars, then, a few years later, hosted a show on getting kids to lose weight? What a whore.
Due to Cleveland’s recent revival, this game is underrated, too. Cleveland won’t be a playoff team – not with their schedule – but they’ll be a tough opponent from here on out. Particularly at home. With Flacco going on the road to a tough venue, but backed by a strong defense, this game should be close. And good football as well.
Skittles: DENVER (-3.5) over Miami
Were I a man who enjoyed the feeling of a throbbing hard sausage in my mouth, I’d absolutely use “Can I Taste Your Rainbow” as a pick-up line. Lest, I’m not that man.
If you’re going to give out candy at Halloween, you really should make sure it’s chocolate based. Lack of chocolate always leads to disappointment. Plus, chocolate is an aphrodisiac, in case you’re looking to get lucky with a mother and/or her kid. But I suppose if you’re going to give out a non-chocolate candy, Skittles should be what you give out. It won’t thrill the kids, but nobody hates Skittles. Bonus points if you give out those sour Skittles.
For fun, let’s compare Chad Pennington to Brett Favre in traditional statistics:
Favre: 89.5 QB Rating, 68.5 Completion % in 235 attempts, 1611 yards, 15 TD/11 INT, 6.9 Yards/Attempt,
Pennington: 100.5 QB Rating, 69.3 Completion % in 202 attempts, 1710 yards, 7 TD/3 INT, 8.5 Yards/Attempt
Chad has a higher completion percentage, better TD/INT ratio, and a higher yards/attempt. Pennington holds a decisive advantage in advanced/defense adjusted statistics as well. All Favre’s mediocrity cost the Jets was a second round pick and seeing their QB aid a division rival while the division rival's eventual franchise QB gets to learn from the sidelines. No wonder the Bills have a shot in this division.
Despite Pennington’s excellent season and Miami’s strong ground game, I like the Broncos. Miami won’t be able to shut down Denver’s passing attack. The Dolphins run defense is excellent, and Joey Porter’s having a surprise rebound season, but none of that will matter with the way Denver throws the ball. As good as the Dolphins looked last week in beating the Bills, they got three turnovers plus a gift safety. Without those types of gaffes, the Dolphins won’t win this game, particularly if it’s a shootout. I’m betting Denver, at home, controls the ball better than Buffalo did.
Mounds: ST. LOUIS (+3) over Arizona
Some people like Mounds. Me? I fucking hate coconut in candy, cake, or anything besides alcoholic drinks, so Mounds can eat a dick. Similarly, some people like this game, but I think it can also eat a dick.
Still, this game should be an entertaining affair. Inexplicably, the Rams have played well under Jim Haslett, and I can think of no bigger an indictment of Scott Linehan’s coaching ability than the stark difference in play between the team’s performance under Linehan and its performance under Haslett. St. Louis is a tough out at home, particularly now that Donnie Avery has emerged as a legitimate complement to Torry Holt. If Steven Jackson’s healthy, the Rams should control the time of possession enough to keep Arizona’s potent passing attack on the sidelines. I think St. Louis wins outright.
AJR: St. Louis
Any candy with booze in the middle: DETROIT (+13) over Chicago
The candy is only booze-related because Kyle Orton is involved. I’m not a huge fan of alcoholic candy, primarily because it doesn’t get you drunk. Also, I’d rather have something like nougat than the shitty alcohol they put in candy. Now, a nougat-flavored alcohol? Yes.
Chicago’s good, but not great. Not good enough to cover any 13 point spread against any NFL team, at least. Although I’m not sure the Lions count as an NFL team.
Chocolate Covered Raisins: KANSAS CITY (+9) over Tampa Bay
Before the Chiefs decided to use a college-like spread offense, this game was just raisins. Meaning you want no part of it, because raisins are healthy and boring, and healthy stuff on Halloween blows. But adding one team running the spread to this game is like adding chocolate to raisins: it makes what is otherwise dull enticing. Mind you, it’s still not great, but it’s not vomit inducing either.
Tampa giving 9 on the road? Nah. Mind you, I think this Tampa team is probably the cream of the NFC South – even with Carolina having a better current record – but they aren’t a juggernaut. After the Chiefs had a tough game in New York last weekend, it’s not unrealistic to expect them to play this one close as well. Although I suppose that depends on the spread offense’s success. The Chiefs hope they can reinvent themselves as a spread team is only slightly more misguided than Joe the Plumber’s hope he can reinvent himself as a musician. Fortunately, the Chiefs should at least be mildly entertaining and not nearly as brutal on the ears.
AJR: Tampa Bay
Razor Blades and Dirty Needles: OAKLAND (+3) over Atlanta
Only because Raider fans probably give out razor blades and dirty needles for Halloween.
Oakland should win this game. Their defense is solid, and Nnamdi Asomugha should be able to shut down Roddy White and force Matt Ryan to look elsewhere. While the Falcons have played strong thusfar, I’m not taking them to cover on a cross country trip against tough home team.
Starburst: Houston (+4.5) over MINNESOTA
Bland. Boring. Underwhelming. Queerly named and outfitted. Both Starburst and these teams will inevitably leave you disappointed. Sure, in one case it’s free candy, and in another case it’s NFL football. But you could do better. In both cases.
Houston seems to have found some answers on offense – Andre Johnson has been the NFL’s best WR for the past month, and the two-headed monster of Steve Slaton and Ahman Green has given the Texans a formidable ground attack. Meanwhile, Minnesota remains mired in mediocrity, primarily because of the offense, and will only get worse if they lose the Williams boys for an extended period of time. Expect Johnson to have a huge day, as Minnesota’s defense, as good as they’ve been, struggles against #1 WRs. Houston might not win outright, but they’ll cover.
Animal Crackers: SEATTLE (+7) over Philadelphia
No kid wants animal crackers on Halloween. This isn’t fucking Earth Day. If you’re smart, generous, or possess a fully functioning frontal lobe, you won’t give out animal crackers. Crackers don’t count as candy, and, frankly, animal crackers taste like fucking cardboard unless they’re the deluxe ones that come in those boxes that look like a zoo cage.
Similarly, nobody wants this game on their TV, and Seattle is full of hippies who probably go overboard for environmentalism and give out animal crackers on Halloween. Fucking hippies. Give the kids some goddamn candy.
This is a major trap game for Philadelphia, as the Eagles make the cross country trip to play a shitty team the week before a primetime matchup with the first place Giants. Seattle won’t win, but the Eagles will struggle enough to keep this game interesting.
Apples: CINCINNATI (+8) over Jacksonville
Are you that eccentric hippie who wants to help prevent childhood obesity by weaning kids off candy as snacks and substitute sweets with healthy alternatives? Well, good for you. You’re undertaking a noble, if futile, goal. But do so on your own fucking time. Halloween is a poor time to get kids to change their eating habits. It’s like trying to convince someone to be a vegetarian on Fourth of July, or someone to go on a diet on Thanksgiving. Your head might be in the right place, but your timing is off. As such, get ready for a flaming bag of shit on your front porch and possibly a banana in your tailpipe. Literally, not metaphorically. You deserve it, you fucking douche. God, I bet your kids get their asses kicked on the playground.
Similar to nobody wanting apples, nobody wants to watch this game. Cincinnati has a legitimate shot at 0-16 – which is pretty remarkable when you consider they have Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh at WR – while Jacksonville is a far cry from the Super Bowl contender some dipshits believed them to be. Still, Jacksonville has enough talent to cover this game.
Last Week: 4-9-1